Niche Your Podcast’s Marketing, Not Your Content

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

Imagine you have a choice of two lakes to fish in, one on your left and the other on your right.

The lakes are identical, except for two factors.

  1. The lake on your left has 10x as many fish as the one on the right
  2. It’s also 100x bigger, with the fish evenly dispersed throughout

On the one hand, the lake on the left is more enticing.

It has 10x the number of fish after all!

But if you do the math, that logic starts to break down.

Because while there are many more fish in the lake on the left, they’re heavily dispersed, meaning each square meter of water is actually less densely stocked.

Here’s what the lakes look like from a density perspective.

As a result, you need to cast your net into the lake on the left ten times to haul in the same number of fish as a single cast into the lake on the right.

On a given day, this means you can haul in ten times as many fish from the smaller but more densely populated lake.

Given these circumstances, which lake would you rather spend your time fishing in?

If you’re a rational human being, you’d likely immediately choose the lake on the right. This is the lake with the vastly higher return on your investment of time, after all.

And yet, when presented with the same scenario when it comes to marketing their podcasts, the majority of people choose the lake on the left.


By refusing to define a narrowly focused audience they are marketing to.

Note that this approach has nothing to do with niching down the content of your show.

Instead, it’s about niching down the focus of your marketing.

This is the playbook followed by every podcast, product, or business that went on to gain mass appeal.

We don’t need to look further than Facebook.

Now one of the most ubiquitous apps in the world, it was initially designed and marketed specifically as a platform for Harvard students to connect over.

There are two primary reasons why this strategy works.

The narrower and more well-defined your ideal listener avatar, the easier it is to:

  1. Find existing hubs where large clusters of potential listeners are already clustering.
  2. Craft your messaging in a way that hooks and resonates with those people immediately.

And if you can achieve these two things, marketing becomes a whole lot easier.

So why don’t more people do it?

Mostly, it boils down to fear and misguided assumptions.

Fear of limiting the reach of their show by narrowing the focus of their show and their marketing.

And the misguided assumption that casting their net into the lake with more fish will result in catching more fish.

What they don’t realize, however, is that attempting to market to everyone is essentially casting a poorly designed net into a sparsely populated lake.

Of course, it’s not that they have no hope of reeling listeners in by taking this approach.

It’s just a wildly inefficient process of marketing, requiring them to cast their net, again and again, to haul in just a handful of new listeners.

For most podcast hosts and marketers, this process simply isn’t sustainable.

Because when you’re working with limited resources, you need to extract the maximum value from your investment.

And the best way to do this is to focus where you’re directing your resources.

To choose a smaller—but more densely stocked—lake to cast your net… which has been tailored specifically to the fish you’re trying to catch.

There are certainly aspects of marketing that can be complicated, technical, and confusing.

But in the end, the age old piece of fishing advice might be the thing that moves the needle the most:

“Fish where the fish are.”

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